In Which Book Bloggers Get Rained On: Brooklyn Book Festival 9/12/10

Did you think the rain was going to stop us from running amok at the Brooklyn Book Festival?? Absolutely not. And neither was missing a train or getting my car towed!

Lori,  Lenore & myself

To say the Brooklyn Book Festival was a wonderful experience would be an understatement. To say my journey to get there was a wonderful experience would be a BIG FAT LIE. To make a long story short–I wake up at 4:45am. Blah. I’m going to miss my train and so I make a detour to another station that I might have a chance of making and only half pay attention to parking signs as I’m unfamiliar with this station. Apparently, it is permit parking only and is a tow-away zone. Oopsie. I freak out, as I’m already on the train, and get worried that I’ll be towed or heavily fined. That is how I started out. (Luckily, later on in the day, my wonderful stepdad went and took care of things). 
Anyways, on to the good stuff. I meet up with Lenore from Presenting Lenore and her husband, Daniel, on the train to Penn Station. Lenore is so wonderful and sweet! She helped calm me down during my panic session about my car! I’m sure I made quite a first impression haha. Anyways, it was really nice chatting with her on the train. We then meet up with Lori from The Next Best Book Club at Penn Station and take the subway to Brooklyn. This is exciting as we have “known” each other on Goodreads for 2 years!! And I must say, it was not a disappointment! We had so much fun together.

We arrived there early so we walked around and tried to get the lay of the land and meet up with our friends Erika and Amy over at Harper Perennial. So nice to finally meet Erika as she gives me awesome book recommendations! Our first panel was at 11am where we attended “Next Texts: Five Debut Novelists” where we saw Sean Ferrell, Ivy Pochoda, Helen Simonson, Tanya Wright (FROM TRUE BLOOD!) and Teddy Wayne read from their books. Some new books were added to my mental TBR list during this panel! 

Lori and I part ways at 12  and I make my way to the panel that I was MOST excited for– “Pop Life: Music, Memory, and America’s Coming to Age.” This is where I will enter a big fan girl SQUEE because I met ROB SHEFFIELD!

Rob & I!

This panel was hilarious and awesome with the mix of Rob, Joshua Clover, and Ta-Nehisi Coates. I laughed so much. Music is very important to me and this panel was so interesting as each panelist discussed music’s role in their lives, as all of them write about music, and how songs take on many personal and political meanings throughout our life and how that shapes some of who we are and how we define ourselves. It was something I could really relate to. 

Then we had some free time and I got to meet up with a good friend from the College Students group on Goodreads that I created! She was one of the first five or so people in the group when it started exactly two years ago and we’ve always gotten along real well. It was wonderful to meet her and I told my boyfriend, when I got home, that  if we lived nearby we’d pretty much be best friends. Good times for sure. 

We then made our way over to the Youth Stoop to see Lauren Oliver, Sara Shepard and Jenny Han read from their novels and  discuss the theme of redemption in terms of their characters and also in life. It was a really interesting and Kirsten Miller, who was the moderator, asked some really interesting questions. It was interesting to learn who the authors were in high school and if they feel like they are the same role that they played in high school. After that I rushed over to get Lauren Oliver to sign my copy of Before I Fall. She was really sweet and we chatted a little about how popular YA is with people who are older than the  “targeted” age. 

Kirsten, Jenny, Sara,  Lauren

The last hour or so we went to see readings by Per Petterson (whose books I need to pick up ASAP), Scott  Spencer and Terese Svoboda. After that, since we decided we didn’t feel like waiting in the rain for tickets to see Dennis Lehane, we went back to Harper’s booth and said bye to Erika!  We had a good time talking and laughing with her and all agreed that we couldn’t wait to be dry and warm! I, for one, was pretty sick of looking and feeling like a wet dog. I mean, honestly, I was looking like a hot mess after being rained on all day and up since an ungodly hour. After we said goodbye, Lori and I made a quick pit stop to the Dennis Lehane signing and I also got to meet Nick Flynn!  And then, it was adios to Brooklyn, and back to public transportation.

Erika & I

Throughout the day I also got to meet some other bloggers and that is always exciting to put a face to a blog name! I got the pleasure of meeting Nicole from Linus’s Blanket, Allie from Hist-Fic Chick, and Mitali from Alley of Books

All said and done, rain and my epic morning failure to be on time aside, it was an awesome event and I will be returning next year! On to the National Book Festival in two weeks where I may or may not have another fangirl moment  while I meet Jonathan Safran Foer!

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. Sounds like a wonderful time – I'm glad all the drama with getting there and the rain didn't ruin the event!

  2. Christina/Book Addict says:

    Wow! Sounds like it was a worthwhile event. Great photos! Your car drama sounds like something I'd experience….I always have car drama! I'm glad it was a good time!

  3. Looks like such a fun time — and no worries, we got rained on at the National Book Festival last year! I'm hoping for clear skies and smooth sailing for all of us in two weeks.

    And SQUEE, Jonathan Safran Foer — I'm so excited! He's my massive literary crush! Though my boyfriend will be accompanying me, I've already warned him he might not look at me the same way after seeing Foer in person. Should be epic.

    And we're having a book blogger dinner after in D.C. — not sure if you've seen it? If not, all the info is here:

  4. Meg– I'm glad I'm not the only one!! I seriously have the biggest crush on him. My boyfriend is coming as well! I'm going to have a hard time containing my love for JSF. lol.

    Thanks for the info! I have seen it. I talked with the bf and I'm not sure if he's going to want to do it! lol. I'm trying to convince him. He's not a book lover so he might be sick of book conversation by the end of the day. We will see! I hope I can come! 🙂

  5. I saw that girl in the white hat (I was thinking it was really cute) at the Oliver/Shepard/Han event, which was really good and informative. I'm bummed we missed you! Next time (and hopefully it won't be raining so horribly)!

  6. How fun!! Love seeing the pics… wish I could've gone….

  7. So glad everything worked out and that you had a great time!

  8. Man of la Books says:

    Great post, it looked like you had lots of fun.

    I read one book by Per Petterson, I'm sure he's a nice guy but I couldn't finish Out Stealing Horses.

  9. TNBBC Super Mod says:

    Yay! That was an awesome write up and you look adorable in all of your photos! I had such a great time meeting you. I cannot wait until we take NYC by storm again!

  10. Becky (Page Turners) says:

    Sounds amazing amazing amazing. One thing Australia misses out of on is great festivals like this. A lot of main cities have a writers festival once a year (Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth), but there is nothing in between of a smaller nature. Such a shame. Seems like you had a great time!

  11. Becky– That stinks! How far are you from the main cities? You should organize your own! 🙂

  12. Sounds wonderful! I wish I was around where you live so I can go to all the awesome book events! And meet you girls too! Love your dress! 🙂

  13. I wish you were too! I'm convinced we'd be great friends! 🙂

  14. Would have been more fun if it hadn't rained for sure. But it was so great to meet you!

  15. Although I'm a Texan writer, I'm sitting here in envy of being in Brooklyn, no matter how wet!